By Karen Ackerman Witter
The world could use more people like Craig Mannschreck— kind, upbeat, friendly, genuine, humble and concerned about others before himself. Mannschreck passed away peacefully on Aug. 21 after a three-month battle with lymphoma.
“Craig was ‘others-oriented,’ “says Cindy Davis, Mannschreck’s longtime business partner at Resource One, located at 321 E. Adams St. in downtown Springfield. “He was a good listener and loved to talk about people’s occupations and their lives. He didn’t talk about himself, but always wanted to know about your life.”
Mannschreck was the chief operating officer at Resource One, joining the company in 2000. He managed project logistics and corporate operations, as well as the Resource One building at Fourth and Adams, working quietly in the background as an integral part of the Resource One team.
He commuted to Springfield weekly from his hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri, where he was also beloved in that community. Davis first met Mannschreck when she lived in St. Joseph years ago and worked for him for a few months. They became good friends and kept in periodic contact after Davis moved to Springfield in 1981 and started Resource One in 1987. With his background in the furniture industry, Mannschreck initially got involved with Resource One as an investor.
Davis and Mannschreck worked together for nearly two decades. Together, they received the Small Business Person of the Year award in 2011 from the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. Davis says that Mannschreck always told people that one reason he came to Resource One was that the company was never afraid to try something new.
All 20 Resource One employees and two former employees attended the memorial service for Mannschreck in St. Joseph. One said that he always made her feel special, and then she discovered that he made everyone feel special. The legacy he leaves with the Resource One team is that all of the staff members are inspired to “try to be more like Craig,” says Davis.
Mannschreck was born and raised in St. Joseph, and was an active volunteer throughout his life, ranging from high school football games to the Wyatt Park Christian Church. He graduated from Texas Christian University and served in Vietnam as an officer in the United States Marine Corps flying attack helicopters. However, Davis said Mannschreck was so humble that he didn’t accept the two Purple Hearts he should have received because he didn’t think his injuries were serious enough to warrant them.
Mannschreck demonstrated a genuine interest in others whether they were business colleagues or people he met as he went about his day. He frequented the Feed Store several times a week, which is where he met Jeff Grieser, a server who witnessed firsthand the kind and friendly persona of Mannschreck.
“Craig really showed an interest in people,” says Grieser. “I didn’t know him from Adam before he started coming to the Feed Store. He would always ask me what’s up. I have six children, and he would ask in detail about my kids.” Shortly before Mannschreck died, Grieser texted Mannschreck a message and pictures of his kids. True to form, Mannschreck called him back sounding upbeat, in spite of the physical toll of his illness.
Another hallmark of Mannschreck was his friendly teasing. He bestowed nicknames on his colleagues and acquaintances. Davis says with a laugh that her nicknames were “Shorty” or “Goofy.” Mannschreck called Grieser’s daughter by her middle name, which Grieser affectionately described as a “Craigism.”
Anji Hebisen worked at Resource One from 2007-2014, and said at a time in her life when she was contemplating a career change, it was Mannschreck who convinced her to stay in the industry. “He got to know the people in my life and would ask about them regularly, as if they were his friends and family also,” Hebisen said. “Craig was both my boss and my friend, serious and a jokester, and I’ll never forget his laugh.”
Mannschreck’s passing leaves a big void in the downtown Springfield community. He will long be remembered for his good nature and concern for others, his interest in Springfield and the warm smile that was always on his face.
A celebration of Craig’s life in Springfield is planned for Sept. 19 at Calvary Church, 501 W. Hazel Dell Road at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can made to the American Cancer Society (donate online at https://www.cancer.org/). Those with memories to share (written or video) can email email@example.com.
Karen Ackerman Witter has worked with Cindy Davis in various capacities for many years and had the pleasure of meeting Craig Mannschreck and witnessing his warm personality.